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By Khalilah Starks

It’s the end of the week.  What did you accomplish this week?  Did you get praise from your boss for a job well done?  Did you get praise from a client?  Did you finish a big project?  Did you close a deal?  If you accomplished anything this week, no matter how small, write it down and stash it in your File of Accomplishments.  What?!!  You don’t have a File of Accomplishments?!  Well, you better create one today!  You can’t afford to forget today’s accomplishments because it could help you tomorrow.

Here are the areas where an accurate list of accomplishments can come in great handy:

1. Performance Reviews

Bosses tend to have selective memory around annual performance review time.  If you think about it, a year is a very long time.  And, most aren’t keeping a written log of your accomplishments.  Unfortunately, the only things that tend to get written are performance issues.  Most companies will ask you to do a self assessment as part of the performance review process.  Keeping a log of your accomplishments will make this process easier and ensure that you don’t forget anything.  Additionally, some managers don’t even write their employee’s reviews.  They’ll just take your self-assessment and provide a few tweaks.  And, voilà, there’s your performance review.   So, it’s to your advantage to write the best review with as many accomplishments as you can.

2. Asking for a Raise

Companies don’t give raises to employees just because they ask for them.  You have to be able to convince your employer that your performance warrants an increase in pay.  Your accomplishments will strengthen your argument.  As you prepare for your discussion, you’ll want to have your list of recent accomplishments ready to include in the discussion.  The key word here is “recent” since the best time to ask for a raise is right after a significant accomplishment.

3. Resume Writing

The resume writing process, whether you do it yourself or have it professionally done, can be a lot easier if you have a complete list of your accomplishments.  A great resume effectively communicates all of your relevant skills and accomplishments.  Keeping that active list of accomplishments will ensure that you don’t miss any critical details that will entice employers to invite you in for an interview.

4. Interviewing

The interview is a strategic brag fest.  And, what are you bragging about?  Drumroll please…your accomplishments!  As you prepare for your interview, you’ll want to select the accomplishments that are most relevant to the position that you’re seeking and find a way to insert them in the conversation.  Having that complete list of accomplishments will ensure that you don’t miss anything.

5. Professional Self Esteem

The life as an employee can be tough.  Managers can say terrible things that will send anyone’s professional self esteem into a downward spiral of inadequacy.  And, sometimes you just screw up – mistakes happen.   In these cases, you just need to remind yourself of the value that you bring to the table.  So, collect your accomplishments and review them from time to time, just to feel good about yourself and remain confident during the tough times.


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